YMCA Healthy Kids Initiative

The Healthy Kids Initiative motivates children to be more physically active and promotes positive behavior change through hands-on nutrition education and healthy eating.

The YMCA Healthy Kids Initiative:

  • A multi-pronged approach that’s designed to remove barriers to living healthy 
  • Supported by multiple community partners
  • Follows the YMCA’s HEPA Standards (See below)
  • Utilizes the CATCH Curriculum (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) to encourage physical activity and healthy eating (See below)
  • Supports positive outcomes in youth

How can your family CATCH on?

YMCA HEPA Standards

Meet the YMCA HEPA (Healthy Eating and Physical Activity) Standards. This evidence-based set of guidelines fosters the best possible nutrition and physical activity outcomes for children in grades K-12 attending out-of-school-time programs at the Y- like Childcare and Beacons. The HEPA standards strive to:

  • Engage children in at least one-hour of physical activity per day
  • Define food and beverage offerings, offering water as the primary beverage and offering fruits and vegetables with every meal and as snack options
  • Limit the amount of screen time
  • Educate parents about healthy living behaviors to incorporate at home

CATCH curriculum

CATCH is an evidence-based program with over 25 years of experience bringing physical activity and healthy eating to preschoolers through 8th graders. The basic CATCH messages are designed to promote physical activity and healthy food choices and engage families and communities. The CATCH curriculum includes:

  • Movement and physical activities
  • Hands-on snack preparation
  • Gardening
  • Reduced screen time
  • Education around GO, SLOW and WHOA Foods
  • Inclusivity and teamwork
  • Family Fun Nights